Staff Biographies

Father Jim Lucas - Pastor

frjim2010Prior to joining St.Thomas More Parish and the priesthood, Fr. Jim had a career as a chemical engineer in the paper industry. The seed for a calling to serve in the church burst forth in life after a profound spiritual awakening during a retreat in 1989. The retreat changed the direction of his life.

 After earning an undergraduate degree in Pulp and Paper Technology from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, Fr. Jim earned a Master of Divinity  from the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, IL. He was ordained in June of 2000 . When asked about his favorite aspect of his ministry, Fr.    Jim says, "I feel most fulfilled when celebrating the Eucharist in a prayerful community. I love seeing the Holy Spirit at work in people's lives - through healing, love and service. I thank God for being placed here at St. Thomas More Parish to serve and love." Father Jim can be contacted at 739-7758 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Don Wetzel, Deacon Emeritus

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Deacon Don was born and raised in Chicago, Il. He is married to Joan (for 51 years) and has three children; Maria,  Ann and Joseph. Being a charter member of St. Thomas More, Deacon Don has volunteered since its conception and especially enjoys officiating at Baptisms, singing in the choir and assisting at Masses. HIs favorite Saint is St. Francis of Assisi as he was a man who loved God deeply, making himself less and others more.  Although Deacon Don is officially retired, he is still very active in the parish. Please contact the parish office at 739-7758 and leave a message for Deacon Don and he will call you back as soon as possible.

Craig Merrick, Deacon

Craig Craig was born in Janesville, WI and now resides in Appleton with his wife, Connie. They have 3 children; Matthew, Melissa and Michael. Craig has been a member of St. Thomas More since he was confirmed in 1980 and has been a deacon here since 1998. He enjoys working with and helping people, discussing God's work in our lives and weddings and baptisms. Craig's favorite saint is Peter as he can relate to him. Not only because both their names mean rock, but because rocks are hard to move and Peter was slow to get it. It takes time to live your faith and Craig is working towards being like Peter who truly lived his faith. Craig can be reached by contacting the parish office at 739-7758 and leaving a message for him.

  

Barb TremeBarbl, Business Administrator

Raised in Fond du Lac with her 3 sisters and 1 brother,  Barb now calls New London home with her husband, Steve. Barb has three grown children; Stephanie, Erin and Alex. She began her ministry at St. Thomas More Parish in June of 2004 and enjoys interacting with the parishioners and 'drawing the double line'; balancing the budgets. Barb's favorite bible quote is "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalms 46:11) as it remindes her of who is ultimately in charge! Barb can be contacted at 739-7758 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 Connie Ebben, Office ManagerConnie

Born in Kaukauna, WI, and raised in Appleton, Connie is the youngest of 4 children. She is married to Paul and has two married daughters, and two grandsons who are the "light of her life!" Connie has been a member of St. Thomas More Parish for since 1980. Connie began working as the Religious Education Secretary in 1996 and transferred to the parish office in June of 2003. Her favorite part of the job is balancing the weekly stewardship numbers, and meeting and greeting people as they come into the Parish Office. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family. Please contact Connie at 739-7758 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sara Stammer, Communications Assistant

saraSara grew up in Fairbanks, AK before she moved to Appleton and has been a member of St. Thomas More Parish ever since. She resides in Appleton with her husband and four children, who attend St. Thomas More School. Sara was active in youth ministry when growing up and is now enjoying using her strengths to help the church again. She enjoys taking on all new tasks and looks forward to assisting wherever she can. Sara can be contacted at 739-7758. 

 

 

Bob Balza, Buildings and Grounds

Bob Bob was born in Green Bay, WI and attended Catholic grade school and high school. He is married to Cindy, and has 4 children; Colleen, Eric, Alex and Anton. He has been a member of St. Thomas More for years and can fix just about anything! His favorite part of his job is working with the people of the parish and school. Before coming to St. Thomas More Parish, Bob was an auto mechanic and served in the Army. Bob's favorite quote is "A job worth doing, is worth doing well." Bob is very active in CHRP here at the parish and sings in the choir. Bob can be contacted at 739-7758 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

 Chris Rosenbaum, Parish NurseChris_Rosenbaum_1

Chris was born and raised in the Fond du Lac area and is the mother of two adult daughters, Cheryl and Kristin. She has been with the parish since 2007 and her most gratifying part is helping someone in need and the relationship that develops. Chris's faith serves to renew and sustain her spirit and her favorite bible quote is "God has said, Never will I leave you; never will I foersake you." (Hebrews 13:5) As we face our most difficult challenges, remember that God is only a thought or breath away so breathe deeply and know all is well. Chris is in the parish office on Monday and Thursday afternoons at 739-7758 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Irene Skarban, Pastoral Associate

Irene was born and raised on a farm near Lena, Wisconsin. She graduated from Lena Public Schools and went on to UW-Oshkosh, where she received an Instrumental Music Education, BMEd & Elementary Education Certification.  A few years later, she attended Mount Mary University and received a Master of Arts in Professional Development.  She taught in many Catholic Elementary Schools: Ashland, Oconto, Random Lake, and Lake Church. Then she began her journey at St. Thomas More in 1998 as the Coordinator of Child Ministry and remained in that position until 2015.  At that time, the Holy Spirit began tugging at her heart to change her ministry from education to pastoral work. Irene is the youngest of a family of six with her extended family including many, many nieces and nephews, great and great-great nieces and nephews.  The newest members of the family are "great-great" twin boys.  Irene can be reached in the parish office at 739-7758 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Patricia Verbrick, Music Ministry Coordinator

Pat Patricia was born in Sturgeon Bay. She has 4 sons; Dan, Tom, John and Rob, and many grandchildren. Her husband, Jim is deceased. Patricia  began working at St. Thomas More in September of 2005 and loves anything to do with music. In 2014 she completed the Emmaus Program and  earned a theology degree from Silver Lake College to enhance her service at STM. Her special interests include her grandchidlren, traveling  and  making music with family and friends. Her favorite quote is from St. Augustine, "Our hears are restless until they rest in Thee" and her  favorite  bible verse is Philippians 4:4-8: "Rejoice in the Lord always...whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just... think about  these things."  Patricia can be contacted at 739-7758 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

Mary Vanevenhoven, Coordinator of Worship & Spiritual Life

Mary Van Staff PhotoBorn and raised on a farm in Plain, WI, Mary is the 8th oldest out of 10 children.  Mary and her husband Gary live in New London and have 3 adult children who are all married.  They have grandchildren who have been a joy and blessing in their life.  August 2015 is when Mary began her ministry at St. Thomas More.  One of many joys she has in ministry is watching volunteers step forward and grow in their role and seeing the joy they have when they volunteer.  Mary is very passionate about the Eucharist and loves celebrating and worshipping at Mass with the parish community.  Her favorite quote is “Fully Rely on God”, that is, be a F.R.O.G. She likes to go camping, kayaking, biking and taking a walk.  Mary can be contacted at 739-7758 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Emily Shackleton, Coordinator of Child Ministry (Preschool-Gr. 5)

Emily is the new Coordinator of Child Ministry. She graduated from Marquette University and spent two years of service in Catholic retreat ministry and youth ministry through a program called SPIRITUS, housed out of Mount Tabor Center in Menasha, WI. Her hobbies include singing, reading, cooking, and playing with her dog (a fluffy white American Eskimo). The Catholic Church and Jesus Christ are the loves of her life, and she is excited to talk with you about the faith and lead St. Thomas More families closer to the Lord! One of her favorite Bible verses is: “[B]e renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth” (Eph 4: 23-24). Emily may be be contacted at 920-739-8172 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Laurie Overesch, Coordinator of Youth Ministry (Gr. 6-12)

Laurie OvereschLaurie was born in Green Bay, Wi.  She moved to Appleton during high school where she met her husband Dan.  Laurie and Dan have two grown sons, Jeremy and James.  She was a Catholic Educator for 35 years.  She is an active member of Sacred Heart Parish in Appleton where she has been involved with Youth Ministry, the New Evangelization, and CRHP.  She has a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother and prays the rosary often.  Laurie enjoys camping, canoeing, bird watching, reading and knitting. Laurie can be contacted at 739-8172 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Anna Donnermeyer, Coordinator of Young Adult Ministryweb_photos_039

Anna has been a member of the Faith Formation department at St. Thomas More for several years.  She and her husband Brad have 3 young sons:  Noah, Kolbe and Lucas.  Anna's favorite part of ministry is helping people grow in their personal relationship with Christ. Anna is Coordinator of Young Adult Ministry and Youth Ministry Assistant.  She coordinates the Confirmation program, the Mom's Group, the Covenant of Love Date Nights, and other ministries for young adults.  Anna works with the parish Elizabeth Ministry as well.  Please see the Young Adult Ministry page on the website for more information. Anna can be contacted at 739-8172 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Anita Revord, Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation

 Anita photoAnita and her husband John have been members of St. Thomas More for 17 years.  Anita joined our staff to live her passion for ministry in the church.   She will help coordinate the Christ Renews His Parish program, the Living Your Strengths program, Bible studies, Rites of Christian Initiation of Adults and other educational efforts for adults.  Her favorite bible quote is, “Glory be to God, whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we could ask or imagine. “ (Eph. 3:20-21) Anita can be reached in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 739-8172 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Wendy Fischer, Faith Formation Administrative Assistant

Wendy and her husband Michael have 4 children (2 boys and 2 girls) and 3 grandsons.  She is a member of St. John the Baptist Parish in Menasha and enjoys being a part of the Neenah/Menasha Respect Life committee, which is a great passion of hers.  She has worked for a few different parishes in the areas of Faith Formation and Stewardship.  Wendy enjoys going up north (Mountain, WI), watching her children's (and now grandchild's) sporting events and loving and holding her beautiful grandkids.  You can contact Wendy at (920) 739-8172 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..